Today is the first day my daughter felt not good enough

by Caroline Stewart

Today is the first day that my daughter told me she feels like she's not good enough.  My daughter is 8.  She is outgoing, joyful, hilariously ridiculous, and the most loving little girl you'll ever meet.  

Today is the first day that my heart felt the pain of her self-rejection.  In between sobs she explained how who she is doesn't seem good enough for other people.  

She couldn't quite put her finger on the judgments she's been feeling.  But she knows it definitely doesn't feel good and that she's obviously not being the person everyone wants her to be.

As my hurt for her turned to anger, I relived all those moments I felt this same pain of rejection in my life.  I watched my internal dialogue run through the shaming things I tell myself and the ways that I hid in order to not be seen, and ultimately judged.

Super (slightly pissed off) mom mode engaged!  I talked to my daughter about how we all feel judgments, and how the ones that hurt the most are the ones we make of ourselves.  

We covered the concept of perfection and the illusion that we are flawed.  I shared that there is nothing wrong with us.  Really!  Our fears, tears, and anger are perfect.  The seeming 'mistakes' we make are perfect. There is NO such thing as sin; there is only a separation from our true nature as happy and loving beings.  Which is itself perfect and ultimately teaches us truth.

We dove into the depths of feeling our emotions and learning from them.  Our emotions being teachers of our current desires, fears and boundaries.  We laughed about being emotional super heroes - saving the world from one judgment at a time.   

We covered the importance of openness and how many people hold things in and let those unexpressed emotions turn them angry or resentful (and often cause physical sickness).  And how feeling them and expressing them is one of the secrets to being happy.

She brought up her fears over the future and what she will do with her life.  Ya, it starts this young.  We talked about the what not mattering but the how.  How being with happiness and an open heart.

I am so proud of this incredible little girl for having the courage to share her deepest fears with me.  And so grateful that so much of the work I've done with my own healing around self-worth was able to serve her in this moment.  Though my heart broke for her pain, and I can't promise protection from future pain, I can honestly say that today is the first day that I helped my daughter feel good enough.   

Photo by svetikd/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by svetikd/iStock / Getty Images